Allright here it goes. Iâ€™m sitting in the Philadelphia Airport waiting for my connector to Sin City. This trip my wife and I are staying at Mandalay Bay for the 4th and 5th at Casino Rate and are comped at Wynn for 3 of the next 4 nights with $400 freeplay. I go to Vegas 3 or 4 times a year, even though the trip from Nova Scotia, Canada is a real bear. No direct flight here folks, just a hodgepodge of choices from barely palatable to downright awful. Ergo, here I am in Pennsylvania. This trip is mainly for relaxation, after a long year. Saturday will be my toughest day because I wonâ€™t be able to Christen my trip the usual way. Normally I get a 6 pack of Heineken at the corner store from the car rental, we drive to the Venetian and open 4 of them up. We enter the casino double fisting, looking for the best cocktail waitress location. If we donâ€™t get serviced quick enough P(wife) has the 2 reserves in her purse. By then I have lubed up the waitresses so that the liquor flows freely. Sigh....not this time. After a lengthy layover we have an uneventful flight into Las Vegas. We flew over Hoover Dam and could see the new suspension bridge very clearly. Looks impressive from the sky. We saw it while under construction and it is an impressive construction project. We land, pick up our bags and take the shuttle service to the rental building. We had a premium car rental, a Chrysler 300 for 7 days, rented at a total of $186 taxes in. They pushed the extra insurance and gas HARD. I actually had to tell the guy that I just wanted the keys and go. We eventually escaped and I dropped P off to Las Vegas Outlet Mall while I went down to the Sands Convention Center to pick up my race bib. It was very busy, with the Cowboys in town too. I had my first taste of Vegas at the Palazzo. I played Lord of the Rings and boom, bonus and a $50 win in about 5 minutes, nice. Back to pick up P and a stop at Whole Foods for water, champagne, beer and other necessities. We took the quick drive to Mandalay Bay and all they had left was a smoking room on the 10th floor. The girl practically laughed at me when I asked if an upgrade was available. I had booked really early knowing that 30,000 people were going to be racing down the strip in the morning, starting at Mandalay Bay. The casino rate was $119 for Saturday and $69 for Sunday, no resort fees. The hallways are starting to show some noticeable wear and tear but the room was fine. We donâ€™t smoke and the room had only a whif of smoke in it. It bothered P more than me. On to the good stuff. P got her first beer while I stuck with the H2O until after the race. We started playing WOZ, survivor, Bruce Lee, Sex in the City and Star Wars. I had budgeted $400 for the first day and kept taking out little wins. I then made it over to the sportsbook and laid my football bets for Sunday. Man, Vegas sober on your first night, especially a Saturday night is tough. P was having a great time and stayed out until about 2, while I gave up at 10pm. I was down about $40 while P lost $500. Sobriety has its advantages I guess and I left when I felt the machines turn against me. Iâ€™m certain that she had way more fun though. This trip was a total yawn so far as is the trip report. Sorry Finally, race day. Iâ€™ve run the Vegas Half Marathon twice before. So I drink lots of water, have a bagel and a banana and Iâ€™m ready to go! Wait, it starts at 7, not 6. So P and I wander around. P isnâ€™t running this year and with all the excitement she regrets it a bit in the moment. It is actually a very emotional time. You train for 5 months, running 5 times a week, near the end for over 2 hours once a week and here it is, finally. There are 30,000 other folks feeling the same way, some dressed as Elvis, some getting married on the run, others their own freaky self. It is AWESOME! Temperature is about 6C at race time. P leaves me in the corral and yes I do feel a little like a cow being led to slaughter. Pop, the flare gun goes off and.....nothing. With 30,000 cows it takes a little time to get going. About 10 minutes later I start under the start line with the Blues Brothers sending me off. This is one of the coolest runs that I can imagine. I love Vegas and being able to run down the strip, ON the strip is a dream come true. It is like the city stops for a few hours to honor the people who are crazy enough to do this. I ran Disney(full marathon) and it was cool to run through all the theme parks but running through a city built on sin, forcing it to take a back seat to the opposite is a cool thing to me. Funny thing is that Iâ€™m built on sin, not virtue. So I break the run into 3 sections, 7km each. It is hard to run fast for the first 7km in Vegas because it is crowded which is a good thing. With the adrenaline coursing through you running fast early can kill you. I run an easy first 7km, pretty much past the Stratosphere . Now we are off to downtown. It is an ugly stretch but there are cheerleaders and bands to help me on. One cool moment is a beer station set up by a bar along the route. Very cool! Not official, the owner just thought it was a good idea. I loved it! I passed but knew that golden nectar was in my very near future. The second 7km was smooth and I hit a short sweet spot running wise. The last 7km is back up the strip and all of a sudden life sucks. My legs hurt, even TI is far away and I start wandering what the hell I was thinking. Who the hell wants to run in Vegas? What an idiot. I could have been hammered last night. I wasted a day in the best city on earth. Hey, there is Wynn, my destination tomorrow. Iâ€™m sure they serve beer at this time of day. Where is that beer station again? Oh, there is TI. I donâ€™t like that place anymore. I took their last $200 freeplay offer and they didnâ€™t send any more offers. Grrrr... Hey, I there is City Center. What a crappy vacation that was. Aria sucks. Weird bathrooms, frat vibe. Whoa, there is Mandalay Bay. I love that place. It has a cool pool and high ceilings. THE Hotel is the best. Too far away from the action but I like it anyway. What are my football bets again? Did I really bet on the Bills to cover? Oh, there is a cheering crowd. They love me, everyone loves me. I feel the finish nearby and am close. All of a sudden the strength returns and I give what is left in my legs, lungs, heart. I finish a little over 1:54 for the half marathon and I saw P in the crowd just before the finish. This is a well organised race with water, bananas, bagels and best of all BEER. Finally, a beer. I looked for P but couldnâ€™t find her so I made it back to the smokey room. There was my nectar of the gods. Moet et Chandon on ice. A beautiful POP and my trip has finally begun! P finds me in the room and a bit later we stroll out the elevator to the casino floor like champion fools. Drinking fools, happy, satisfied fools. Imagine the feeling of being a total winner, having an awesome wife and having a great drink in hand. Vegas, here we go! I have Mandalay Bay figured out. The slots are hit and miss, but when Iâ€™m hitting they really love me. I hit a good bonus on Sex and the City-$90, Starwars-$50, WOZ-$120, Arctic Fox-$80, and then the slots get blurry. Iâ€™m thinking about 4 hours on the slots and Iâ€™m ready for roulette. I have taken a combination of champagne with the waitresses and filled up at the room if they were too slow. I was weeeeellllllllll lubed. I buy in for $60 at the roulette table. My main number is 29 but I have a supporting cast. So I hit, bang 17, then 24, bang 17 again, 10, 5 because I felt it. They were all fully loaded from my perspective. I must have hit 8 of 14 numbers. I leave up about $500 later and decide that craps is my newest best game. Okay, letâ€™s start with $100........whooosh the awesomeness that is me getâ€™s KOâ€™d. I lose it all in about 4 minutes. No more of that. Time for a nap.....more later..when I wake up..